You couldn't make this up! Some MPs think their mission in life is to sign as many early day motions as possible. New one, old ones, completely out-of-date ones! They'll sign them. And that's when they start to get into difficulties.
So step forward time-travelling David Anderson, Labour MP for Blaydon. Mr Anderson loves EDMs. The more, the merrier. He signed around 600 in the past year, though that's less than some EDM junkies.
Anyway, here's one of the EDM's he signed:
That this House welcomes the Employers' Liability Insurance Bureau Bill as a long overdue reform; believes that it will provide the necessary mechanism to ensure compensation for employees who suffer injury, illness or disease as a consequence of the acts or omissions of a negligent, but uninsured employer, or an employer who has ceased trading and whose insurers cannot be traced; notes that the provisions of the Bill would particularly benefit sufferers of diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma, which are often diagnosed long after the negligent response to harm; and urges all hon. Members and the Government to give the Bill a second reading on 13 March 2009 and a fast passage through committee.
It all seems proper and in order. Except.......
This EDM was the last one signed by Mr Anderson in the 2008/9 year. According to the Parliament website, Mr Anderson put his name to it on 11th November 2009. "Better late than never" could be Mr Anderson's defence for signing a call to action 8 months after the event has passed. Unless of course, Mr Anderson has invented his very own Tardis and is able to whip his colleagues back 8 months to March so they can vote in the debate mentioned!
But the story doesn't end there. It is reasonable to assume that having put his signature to the EDM late, he was at least present on 13 March 2009 to take part in the debates and vote that day. Alas, a quick check on the votes taken that day show Mr Anderson was not present!
Nice one Dave!
The story however doesn't end there either! It gets even more interesting.
I have no doubt that Mr Anderson was committed to the Bill. He has a record of campaigning on the illnesses mentioned in the EDM and his concerns are genuinely held. But....
The vote on the bill did not take place on 13th March 2009. In fact, it never took place at all. The bill was abandoned before 13th March 2009 by its sponsor Andrew Dismore MP!
So, 8 months after the event that never took place, Mr Anderson asks colleagues to attend and vote on a day he himself was not present on a bill that had been dumped before the non-existent vote could (but did not) take place.
Mr Anderson must therefore be appreciated for his ability to make politics that bit more interesting!